If there's one thing I love about the festive season it's the endless Christmas parties and the good times they provide.
There are family dos and work dos, but my favourite Christmas party is easily the school parent shindig.
Once your child is at school you generally find yourself surrounded by other school parents at regular events throughout the year – school concerts, athletics and swimming carnivals and endless weekend sports and gala days. For the most part these events are fairly mundane, obligatory fixtures in the life of a parent.
The Christmas party though, that's a whole different ball game. Pardon the soccer mum pun.
The Christmas party is a gathering of choice. You've spent so much time with these people through the year you get to the point where you like them and you choose to celebrate the festive season with them.
This year I have volunteered my own house for the annual school parent Christmas party, whether I regret this decision or not is still to be seen.
The school parent Christmas party is always loads of fun, because it's the one time us stressed out parents can let our hair down. There's always enough kids around that they keep themselves entertained and the adults can relax and enjoy the night reminiscing about the year that was.
As we embark on what will no doubt be a memorable night it must be said that there a few things that will inevitably happy at the school parents' Christmas party.
The P & C President will try and recruit you
Let's not get this wrong. We all appreciate the hard work of the P & C. Even I, in my infinite kindy mum wisdom, volunteered to do my time as a P & C mum. A couple of years of it, in fact. Do I regret it? No. Do I ever talk about it? Also no.
As I am about to embark on life as a year six parent, I feel I've earned the right to take time out from the volunteering.
If you're inviting the P & C President to your Christmas party just ensure they are seated near the enthusiastic kindy mum. The naive, bubbly kind. They're the easiest to recruit. And they still actually want to help.
The quiet mum will get drunk and tell you all her secrets
You've spent all year with her but you're still not quite sure which kids are hers. You think her name is Sally but it could be Stephanie too. It's gone past the point now where it's okay to ask so you awkwardly say hey "s…." and mumble as you give her a half arsed hug and welcome her to your place.
It's a little uncomfortable at first but once Sally (or Steph) gets a hold of the Aldi wine she lets loose. And god is she fun!
Always sit near Sally. She'll make sure your glass is never empty and she'll give you endless laughs all night long.
She will definitely send you a text the following morning apologising for her behaviour.
The soccer coach will talk tactics for next season
It's December, we've endured a whole season of winter sport and under obligation we've put up with an extra ten weeks of summer soccer. Let's take a night off, hey. Yes we know that we aspire for our kids to be the next Messi but can we discuss Henry's lack of goal keeping skills and Jack's killer defence skills some other time?
We love your enthusiasm for the sport, but grab a beer and enjoy yourself. If you want to talk sport we'll leave the cricket on in the living room for you.
The kindy mum will finally admits she loves her kid being in school
Remember at last year's party when this mum was almost in tears wondering how she'd cope with her youngest child starting school.
Back then it was all "I'm going to miss him so much." This year it's all "Cooper who?"
Yeh she loves her baby and always will, but you know what else she loves? She loves the reality of having five days of freedom without the financial burden of childcare. She is glowing from head to toe because she finally had time for a facial and mani pedi with her extra time this year.
All the parents will discuss 'that kid'
You know THE one. That kid. The kid who always is the reason/cause/start of any fight or argument at school.
Your eldest child has barely gone a day this year without coming home with a story about what he did at school that day to cause a disturbance.
All the other parents are on the same page.
One mum will whinge constantly about the school
There is always one. You'll hear about how the new principal sucks, the uniform is crap and questions about why aren't there better excursions? This person should probably volunteer for the P & C. Or maybe they have and they've become a bit jaded over the years.
Am I speaking from experience? Yes. Am I guilty of being the whingey mum? Also yes.
The school parents' Christmas party is always a blast and will no doubt give you many stories to keep you and your school crew entertained throughout the next school year.